Edwardian Evening Bag

I’ve been meaning to post this one for ages, as I saw it in a shop display, and The Mum bought it for me for Christmas!

It’s an electroplate silver Edwardian evening bag c1910, complete with original pale green lining and a lovely engraved design around the edges.

It is hinged at the bottom, and clips together at the top like a purse.  The chain makes it easy to loop around your finger to carry it – and to dance the night away I’d imagine.  If only…

This is my first vintage evening bag.  I would love to find some more.

A Vintage Venetian Find

I love this, I really do.  The extra nice thing about it is that it was a gift.

I don’t know when this was made, but I suspect there were many made for tourists, and I have since seen a similar ring for sale.  I also think that they were probably produced over a long period also.

A Venetian coin bracelet, showing scenes from Venice.

I’m always on the look out for vintage guides to Venice too if anyone’s seen any…

Can You Help the Castle Find Maurice?

We certainly hope so – do get in touch with the office if you have any information.

Art Historian Dr Bendor Grosvenor has very kindly posted a picture of Prince Maurice of Nassau on his website Art History News, which was stolen from the castle some time ago.

Please pass the information on to anyone you think that might be able to help – we just want to have him home, we miss him.

Art Crush – William Dobson, and the tale of Prince Rupert

I’ve got lots of art crushes – something that I want to explore further here when I have time.  Suffice to say, however that I absolutely love portraits.  If fact, I think I’d like to specialise in them one day.

My art crush for this month is William Dobson.  I discovered him in a roundabout way – via Charles II, his cousin Prince Rupert and the lovely artist Van Dyck.  When I say discover – I heard about Dobson painting a ‘lost’ portrait of Prince Rupert in Charles Spencer’s biography of him – I love anything about him, especially portraits and there are quite a lot of those (and not just by Dobson).

Van Dyck is another hero of mine, a very accomplished (and flattering) court painter for Charles I, and Dobson replaces him when he dies.  The other interesting thing about him is that he painted so few art works before his premature death, and these were during one of the most turbulent times – the English Civil War.

Some of you will have come across Dobson due to the 400th anniversary of his birth this year, and there is a lovely website on him here.  There was also a great documentary linked to this site shown on BBC Four, and this is well worth seeing if you can.  It is also well worth picking up a second hand copy of the exhibition catalogue from the last major exhibition in the 1980s (which I have, it’s lovely), though it has gone up a lot in price recently!

So when are we getting an up to date exhibition on William Dobson?  I’m waiting!


A great book on Rupert – Prince Rupert: the Last Cavalier by Charles Spencer






William Dobson Exhibition Catalogue 1611-1646 by Malcolm Rogers






An engraving of the lost Dobson portrait of Rupert can be seen here.  An old photograph of an unfinished version of the portrait can also be seen here (as well as in the exhibition catalogue).  Scroll down to number 37 for Rupert, but the others are equally interesting.

The is also an interesting book about Endymion Porter (a court subject, who was painted by both Van Dyck and Dobson), from an exhibition from the 1970s.  Endymion Porter and William Dobson is by William Vaughan, and I viewed it via a local Library.

Whilst many Dobson portraits remain in private hands, here are a just a couple of galleries you can view his work:

The Tate Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

So, who else likes Dobson then?  Any favourite portraits?  I also love his portrait of Colonel John Russell.

Parliamentary Swag…

Here’s a little something I don’t normally look at – collectible plates.  Was probably feeling slightly homesick at the time though.  Plus it was a cool gift!

A vintage Houses of Parliament Plate.  I’ve photographed it here for your delectation:

The Cowdray Park Sale

This sale is certainly interesting to me for a number of reasons historically and art-wise, but not least because the contents of Dunecht House are included in the sale.

Cowdray Park, when I last heard is also up for sale, but this September sale is the contents of both the houses.  From pictures to light fittings, furniture to carpets – though officially it is classed as an art sale.

The sale is from the 13-15 September 2011, and you can view an e-catalogue, listings or buy the catalogue online from Christie’s.  You may even be able to bid online should you wish to.

Cowdray Park Sale: Works of Art from Cowdray Park and Dunecht House – at Cowdray Park, West Sussex.

Hmm, to buy or not to buy a catalogue…

Miss Zena Dare

Some time ago, I posted some of my collection of movie photographs.  As you know, I love the vintage stuff – especially the vintage films!

While I was thumbing through the lovely Old Postcards shop (as you’ve probably noticed I love these too), I came across a ghost from the past – namely Zena Dare (in this case, pictured with her mother).

Now, as you will have seen from my old posts, for the most part the stars of the time are usually recogniseable.  Zena Dare however, was a name that I hadn’t heard before.

Zena Dare (born Florence Hariette Zena Dones) was born in 1887 in London, and in 1899 along with her sister Phyllis had her first performance on the London stage.  They both took the stage name of Dare.  From then on, her career was to last over six decades – only having a break when she married and raised 3 children.

Zena died in 1975, her sister following 6 weeks later.  Both their careers are well worth looking into, and there are some amazing pictures of them still in existence.  Here a just a few of mine.

New Swag!

Out and about on my travels I found the following ‘new’ things for my collection:

Another vintage postcard of The Monument, and an engraving of Regent Street I rescued from a junk shop in a really ratty frame.

The Necklace!

Due to requests, here is a small pic of my crystal necklace, which was inside the French chocolate box.  It’s not a great pic, but I hope to do some restoration to the necklace – so I will take a better one when it is finished.

You ‘get the picture’, right?

You’ll also be pleased to know that I have finished my courses, and the exams, and am just waiting for confirmation that I have passed everything.  Watch this space…

Also, I’ve finally managed to catch up on films, and have now seen Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes and Alice In Wonderland.  Oh, and some new DVDs I ordered :smile:  I finally have some time!

I have also done some genealogy for the first time in ages, and I have lots to catch up on, and charts to make/amend.

I also have another ‘new’ aquisition.  I shall share soon…thanks to all of you that are still visiting.

A French Fancy

Check out a new acquisition of mine, a Victorian – so I’m told – chocolate box from Paris.  Its picture is still really fresh, and it has its original lace around the edge too.  No chocolates in there I’m afraid…

It is from the chocolatiers Marquise de Sevigne, which is still going today.

A nice bonus also was the necklace that was inside it.  I think this needs re-stringing though, as I’d love to wear it, but I don’t dare at the moment.